I love street photography, and most of the time, my editing preference is to correct the white balance, if needed and then render in black and white.

Somehow, there’s just something about black and white photos that seems more powerful to me when capturing everyday life somewhere. Sometimes colour is pleasing to the eye, but other times, it can be a distraction.

My feature photo was taken entering Mexico (near the end of the Progreso International Bridge). Once youve crossed the Rio Grande River and are near the top of the riverbank, this scene is a constant occurrence. Despite the busyness and the gainful employment of the market area, this is a reminder of the poverty. The cap comes through an opening in the wooden louvred window, and the loud, pleading begging from the other side rips at my heart and reminds me of how fortunate I am in my life. I didn’t realize until I edited the photo that I unintentionally caught a hopeful face peering at me through the window. The man I caught in the photo looked straight ahead as he was walking, as most people crossing the bridge do.

The photo below shows how narrow the market street is and how packed with vendors it is.

This one below is a typical scene. There are many children working with the vendors. They’ll take a card of earrings (or anything light enough for them to carry) and work the street, trying to sell something to passersby. When they need a break, they find a bench, and there’s always someone from the market (perhaps a relative or friend) who stops to visit and play with them a bit. The young woman to the right is a maker and is busy with her craft.

“Living conditions in Mexico are challenging for many of its residents …about 33% of the population lives in “moderate poverty” and another 9% lives in “extreme poverty.” That means that more than 40% of the population lives in poverty” As a consequence, about 34 million Mexicans live two to a room in houses built from such poor construction materials as cardboard and reeds.” ~ Reuters/Jorge Luis Plata